We entered the world of online multiplayer games with Counter-Strike 1.5 over 20 years ago. Masakari and I first started looking around for reliable communication software for our teams of -|LOGOS|- at that time.
TeamSpeak was very new in gaming at the time, leading the market and a good choice. But is it still the same today?
In this article, we’ll give you an unfiltered look at a gaming tool that has grown over the years but has also faced plenty of new competition. Although the answer to the question of whether TeamSpeak is the best voice chat tool for gaming has many facets, we’ll give you a brief statement at the beginning:
TeamSpeak offers the best voice quality for gaming of any tool on the market. In competitive gaming, TeamSpeak is the standard because in Multiplayer Games played in teams, communication is the deciding factor between victory and defeat. The need to rent a TeamSpeak server makes other free tools more attractive for casual gamers.
Let’s start with a brief introduction to TeamSpeak, where it came from, and how it has evolved to this day. After that, we’ll dive deeper into the pros and cons of TS for gaming.
Note: This article was written in English. Translations into other languages may not provide the same linguistic quality. We apologize for grammatical and semantic errors.
Short Introduction – TeamSpeak from 2001 until Today
In October 2001, TeamSpeak 1.5, a freeware tool for gamers, came onto the market and was suddenly the talk of the town, with more and more gamers trying it out. Just under a year later, in August 2002, version 2 was released.
The special feature was that anyone could download the free client and connect to a TeamSpeak server. Since a non-commercial use of TeamSpeak also allowed a license-free server use, more and more ambitious teams, and gaming communities used TeamSpeak.
Voice quality was outstanding, although most Internet connections were lousy compared to today.
If the bandwidth dropped unexpectedly, TeamSpeak was able to bring the voice quality down to robot voice without terminating the connection. Then as now, a vital feature.
We also somehow got ourselves a TeamSpeak server for our two Counter-Strike teams at -|LOGOS|. Twenty years later, I don’t know if we had our own TeamSpeak channels at a gaming community or rented a server from a hoster. But I do remember that TeamSpeak was the central meeting point from that time on, and the importance of IRC decreased more and more.
Not least because we could use this tool to improve team communication, we were so successful.
Over the years, TeamSpeak has become the gold standard for communication in gaming.
With TeamSpeak 3, a plug-in framework, and the partnership with the Overwolf game overlay and many other small features, the tool always stayed several steps ahead of the competition.
Meanwhile, TeamSpeak 5 has come out, and the gaming world has changed a lot. TeamSpeak is no longer the tool of choice for many gamers. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons from a gamer’s perspective.
Top 3 TeamSpeak Advantages
Excellent Voice Quality
TeamSpeak 3 is still considered the voice chat tool with the best voice quality among gamers. However, according to many ears, TeamSpeak 5 is only just a tiny step behind and still far ahead compared to other tools on the market.
It should be noted that the comparisons always include the performance and bandwidth utilization in the result.
There might be tools that produce a higher-quality output in terms of voice quality, but they then consume much more system resources in comparison and reduce the performance.
Important for weak systems, but equally crucial for systems of competitive gamers is the performance. Less performance means unstable or lower frame rates, micro-stutters, and FPS drops.
On weak systems, this naturally has a more significant effect in relation. TeamSpeak has perfected resource management with each release. Here, the focus on using TeamSpeak as a pure voice chat tool is the foundation.
As a result, there are no fancy features left and right that might consume more RAM or CPU.
Privacy Protection in Your Hand
Many communication tools generally run in the cloud and are therefore free to use and very easy to access via browser or app. That is, of course, cool and does not burden the wallet.
However, if you don’t refinance the tool by watching ads, the really cool functions are usually packed behind a paywall. Generally, all data such as chat histories and any audio communication become the property of the tool provider.
You are also not safe from passing on your e-mail or address data with these tools because the operators are usually located in legally friendly foreign countries.
Privacy Protection is not an issue for many gamers, but if you are suddenly offered customized advertising after a game night with friends, which tempts you to make a purchase that you otherwise would not have made, then this is an active influence that is not in your favor.
If you run your own TeamSpeak server or rent slots from a hoster committed to privacy protection, you can write and speak with peace of mind. Your privacy is safe.
Top 3 TeamSpeak Disadvantages
Costs for the Use
Of course, if someone with a TeamSpeak server sets up a channel just for you or your team, there is no cost to you. There are also sponsorships from TeamSpeak for TeamSpeak server licenses so that large gaming communities can provide channels for members for free.
Usually, you and your team have to decide: rent slots on a TeamSpeak server or run the whole TeamSpeak server yourself.
We are not talking about huge sums of money, more like in the amount of one or two packs of cigarettes a month, but still, a contract is signed on a monthly or yearly basis, and in the end, someone has to pay the money.
If you run it yourself on your own or rented server, then in principle, you also add the hours of effort for installation, patching, maintenance, and, if necessary, debugging.
This is absolutely unattractive for casual gamers.
Pure Focus on Voice-Chat
Why is that a disadvantage?
Focusing on something sounds good at first, doesn’t it?
In today’s world, tools are evaluated not only by their greatest strength but by their overall added value.
For example, SMS messages used to be sent, but now WhatsApp is the leader because it has more added value built around it. Both applications send messages, but SMS is hardly used anymore, even though SMS is wholly focused on sending characters.
It’s a similar story with TeamSpeak. Only a minority of gamers need this pure focus on communication. So tools that offer more features around it, such as Discord, are now ahead.
More Complex than Other Tools
Attention spans are getting shorter and shorter in our increasingly fast-paced world. The tools of today’s market leaders such as Google or Facebook know how to design their interfaces incredibly intuitively to avoid long training periods.
As a result, the user gets the feeling that he can and should get started immediately.
TeamSpeak, unfortunately, does not give this feeling.
A server administrator should always read the manual completely to avoid turning on or off any essential features. If you want to run your own TeamSpeak server, then it gets even crazier and more complex, but depending on the interface of the hoster, even a shared server can be challenging to use.
Final Thoughts on Teamspeak
As always, we can divide the community into casual gamers and more ambitious gamers aka competitive gamers.
The first group wants to play together with friends in an uncomplicated and relaxed way. Most of the time, though, there’s a lot more going on. The latest memes, videos, and Twitter messages are exchanged. And of course, no one wants to pay for it; after all, the Playstation with the latest games has already cost enough.
For this group, other tools such as Discord are much more suitable.
If you’re interested in a comparison of TeamSpeak and Discord, jump into this post where we did a direct comparison.
For competitive gamers, the priorities are entirely different. The fear of playing with fewer frames per second than the opponent and possibly being defeated in a fight due to a few milliseconds ensures that performance has the highest priority.
At the same time, communication is the be-all and end-all in any multiplayer game. The voice quality is, therefore, on the second place of the priority list.
Therefore, a tool like TeamSpeak, which entirely focuses on these two points, can only be the first choice.
But, of course, competitive gamers do not live behind the moon. Other modern tools such as Discord run in parallel and are used for exchanging various media and as a meeting place on the Internet. But as soon as serious gaming starts, besides TeamSpeak, all other tools are switched off.
And this will remain that way for the time being.
In addition to the right communication tool, audio equipment is, of course, also crucial. In this post about wireless headsets, we put you on the right road to better audio quality.
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GL & HF! Flashback out.